January’s adverse FX moves (versus Sterling) failed to overwhelm strong local currency gains from key positions as BTEM’s NAV increased by +1.5% despite FX losses of -2.7%.
Our largest contributors were EXOR, Digital Garage, Aker, Cosan Limited, Wendel, Swire Pacific Bs, and GP Investments. The only detractors of note in local currency terms were Tokyo Broadcasting System, and the Japanese Special Situations Basket.
EXOR was our largest contributor with its share price rising by +22% over the month, driven almost entirely by a +31% increase in Fiat Chrysler (FCA)’s shares. At 40% of NAV, FCA is comfortably EXOR’s largest holding and we have outlined in previous newsletters our view on the derisory valuation afforded it by the market. We believe the dramatic extent of FCA’s re-rating over such a short time period represents the market finally beginning to appreciate the scale of its transformation, and the potential for value to be unlocked by the sale/IPO of FCA’s stake in auto-parts manufacturer Magnetti Marelli and the spin-off of its Maserati/Alfa Romeo brands.